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rock climber

The climb on the south face started at 5700m above the icefall.

On first acquaintance, it took three days to almost find a way through.

The second time up, it took 3 days to get beneath the face.

On the final time, we reduced the approach to two days.

To the best of our knowledge, no-one has been through this icefall and beneath Gogga’s south face. )Since returning from an expedition in China three weeks ago, I have been giving a few lectures, and because of this (and because I want to train to regain my personal high, low level of fitness) my writing has been on hold.

Below is the start of what I hope will be a published article…

Three weeks to write several lines, not bad going that. I’m sat in a house above the village of Deiniolen, North Wales.

I’ve also added a few pics from China but not many because they will also be a part of an article if I ever get back to being a writer. Large windows look out to the hills dusted in snow.

The wind blows and the skeletal branches of an ash tree jerk. ‘Superstition: belief that is not based on human reason or scientific knowledge, but is connected with old ideas about magic, etc I’m 52 years old, the same age as the British climber Paul Nunn was when he was killed by serac fall in Pakistan. Nunn’s death was nothing to do with lack of skill, lack of experience, or, for those who have spent a great deal of time in the mountains know, could it be called poor judgement.

It is naïve to think that only a fool, or because of a mistake, people die in the mountains.

People with understanding know there are occasions when risks are taken, and on that rare occasion, the coin is flipped.

There are so many unimagined factors and pressures that can lead to that one in a million. I have just returned from an expedition to a 7556m mountain called Minya Konka, or Mount Gongga, Sichuan Province, China.